MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Deformed DNA molecule. Computer-generated model of a segment of the molecule Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), showing a deformity in its shape. DNA forms a natural double-helix shape. At upper centre (yellow/green) this form is unusually twisted. DNA is made up of two sugar-phosphate backbones (long ribbons) from which the nucleotide bases project inwards. It is the sequence of these bases that forms the genetic code. A mutation of one of the yellow nucleotides, or physical damage to the DNA (such as induced by ultraviolet light), may be the cause of this deformity. It may result in a genetic disorder which can have far reaching effects, including genetic disease.
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